Video game history was re-written in the early 2000s, because  doesn't work if you can't cite anything. As such, thanks in part to the "AVGN generation", there is an imaginary list of games the internet thinks are "bad", alongside a misconception that they've always been bad. Because I've spent too much time collating contemporary video game opinions, I can now present to you, "Bad Sega games now that weren't bad then": Disclaimer: Sega Retro's methods of determining "good" and "bad" are incredibly vague because quantifing opinions is kinda unreliable and dumb. Opinions have also changed as society has changed, so work it out, it's a bit of fun etc. Shaq Fu There was a group that actively encouraged people to destroy copies of Shaq Fu "because it was bad". We're fine with jumping plumbers and speedy blue hedgehogs, but Shaquille O'Neal kicking a cyborg? Absurd! Burn it. On the internet, every fighting game that isn't derived from Street Fighter II is the worst thing ever, but in 1994, where Capcom cabinets weren't necessarily abundant and emulation was barely a thing, people were generally a lot more forgiving. Opinions on Shaq Fu of the time range from "indifference" to "okay" - it was built before fighting gameplay standards were understood, and you still expected a level of compromise the on consoles, even after games were starting to see decent transitions from the arcade. Jury's out on the SNES and Game Gear versions, but personally I think Shaq Fu looks pretty good the Mega Drive (even if doesn't always play well), and there seems to have been some agreement back in the day (perhaps no surprise - it's a Delphine Software production). Also of note - the audio is ear-piercingly bad on older emulators, but not on official hardware - that's going to sway some opinions in the early 2000s. But even then, I'm not convinced the game was ever bad enough to set on fire. The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants Bart's Nightmare and Virtual Bart don't fare well, but reviews for Bart vs. the Space Mutants were good in 1991/1992 (as they were with Bart vs. the World). Despite the cryptic nature of play and the wonky platforming, it was seen as a fun tie-in, although given it pre-dates the really good seasons of The Simpsons, the disconnect with the show didn't factor much into the equation. It fares even better on the 8-bit machines - nothing legendary, but enough to be broadly happy with your purchase. You might say they didn't have a cow. Not quite sure where the licensed tie-ins stigma is these days - Acclaim made it a problem in the 1990s and THQ followed their legacy in the 2000s, but I'm not sure how recognised it was in 1991. I suspect the realisation that most of these games weren't that great came later, perhaps after things like Disney's Aladdin. I don't know - feels like the inherent thrill of being able to play as a cartoon character might have upped the scores a bit. Pit-Fighter aka "Shit-Fighter", this is dismissed as being a not-so-great predecessor to Mortal Kombat. Probably because it is. But opinions were more positive in 1990/1991 thanks to its "realistic" graphics. US magazine GamePro gave the Mega Drive port full marks (that's more than Sonic the Hedgehog, for those playing at home) and others were equally full of praise - a view that only began to change towards the end of 1992 when better examples turned up. Today the game's a joke, but before standards were invented, it did very well for Atari. Might have even been the best arcade fighting game out there for the six months between it and Street Fighter II. It seems to have been praise (1991), acceptance (1992) and disdain (1993) - there are only a few games that fall spectacularly from grace and this is one of them. Doom (32X) Doom on the 32X is likely the highest-rated 32X game, currently averaging an aggregate score on Sega Retro of about 88%. Thought it was Chaotix shifting 32X systems? Nope - it was Doom. All ten units. While 32X Doom is a huge cutback on the DOS version, it's worth remembering... PCs were expensive in the 90s, and only the top tier machines were going to be hitting the dizzying heights of 320x200 at 35FPS. The 32X experience is very similar to what the average PC user would have seen in November 1994, albeit one that costs but a fraction of the price to get running and doesn't stop Dad from getting his spreadsheets done. No doubt it has some awful interpretations of the original soundtrack, but think about it - not all PCs had sound cards, and a Sound Blaster would have cost more than the 32X cartridge at the time. The Jaguar port, released in the same month, doesn't have music, and by the time ports arrived that did, we're talking September (SNES) and November (PlayStation) 1995, 10-12 months later. And I don't need to tell you how quickly technology was progressing during this period - the 32X system as a whole was pretty much dead by then. So you paid less, you got less. Although you also got more. Batman Forever (Mega Drive) The one that looks and plays like Mortal Kombat, but is a side-scroller, and is terrible. Well not so much in 1995, because reviews are surprisingly positive for this version of Batman Forever. There was clearly a lot of "graphics before gameplay" going on around this time, though it was a special type of "realistic" graphics that got you the extra marks. Case in point, The Adventures of Batman & Robin (Mega Drive) regularly scored lower and that has all-sorts going on. Of course you can't rule out Acclaim paying magazines to say nice things, but for currently unexplained reasons, this is one of the highest-rated Batman games of the era. Other points of note: - 3D helps. All those 2D Saturn shooters we're meant to rave about? Nobody cared in the mid-90s because the genre was seen as old hat. In fact any 2D graphics on the Saturn and PlayStation would lose you marks most of the time, because 2D is a last generation thing. - Likewise old games are old. The 32X has some great ports of Space Harrier and After Burner II, but they were panned on release because the press were only interested in new games. A running theme for the 1990s. - Big NES franchises... weren't big on the Mega Drive. The likes of Castlevania, Contra and Mega Man scored reasonably well, but we're talking 75-80% versus Earthworm Jim's 90%. So when I first arrived on the internet back in 2002/2003 and hadn't heard of any of these games, that could be why. - Reponse to "foreign" sports is mixed. There was a theory that the US marked down football, rugby and cricket while Europe marked down American football, baseball, ice hockey and basketball, but I'm not really seeing it. In the early days, the FIFAs, NFLs, NBAs and NHLs were just as likely to be praised both sides of the Atlantic, however by 1995/1996, when EA shifted more towards realism, countries began favouring their own sports and became... disinterested about the rest. So it's less "negativity" as it is "apathy" - the Dreamcast's NFL 2K sold big in the US, but while it was equally praised in the UK... nobody here bought it, because it's NFL. - No clear winners for the Mega Drive/Super NES console war when it comes to third-party software quality. Sometimes games are rated higher on the Mega Drive, other times the SNES - it's an extremely close race, unlike the Saturn and PlayStation, where most of the time the PS1 port fared better. - On the whole, publications were more positive than negative, especially in regions such as the US and France. One one hand, this skews our scores because 70% can sometimes mean "poor", but it also might suggest that the industry as a whole was a really exciting prospect for some publications. That standards and expectations were lower, and that people found fun in the sub-standard. That is to say, direct comparisons to Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes don't work - don't get hung up on the numbers. - (Mega Drive) Dark Castle and Action 52 have always been hated.